Thursday, 29 December 2016

Review: Hair Makeover at RCNQ Manchester


Today I'm reviewing* a new salon - not new to Manchester, as this creative space has been occupying the Northern Quarter for three years BUT even though I'm a bit of a hairdresser-hopper, I was yet to try RCNQ.

RCNQ is a small, friendly and innovative salon on Hilton Street in the heart of Manchester's Northern Quarter.

I booked in for a cut and colour and it couldn't come soon enough. I haven't had my hair professionally coloured for well over a year; in which time I've DIY'ed green dip dye, box dye brown, box dye purple, home bleach lightening and box dye red! The result? A patchy, brassy, faded mess! See below...

I discussed my options with the lovely, Helena - RCNQ's resident Colour Director, so I felt in safe hands!

After all the experimentation, I decided that I should go back to basics. I knew that by July next year (when I get married!), I just want to have a natural shade so I decided to opt for a nice all-over brown base colour. With Helena's help, I chose a gorgeous cool dark chocolate shade.

The lovely staff at RCNQ kept me refreshed with endless cups of tea whilst my dye developed.

Another thing I loved about the salon was the products used (which is really important to me). RCNQ use Bumble and Bumble hair products which I was really pleased about. I'm already a fan of the Thickening Spray so I was excited to try some of their other products.

Cut-wise, I decided to go a little shorter. I went for a bob with my usual side parting, sloping into a slightly longer shape at the front.

Are you ready for the before and after?

I'm so pleased with it! I can't believe how even the colour is, considering the mess that exists underneath. It came out very dark initially, but after a couple of washes, it's mellowed out to the perfect dark ashy brown above.

Rob (owner) and his team should be very proud of this salon, it's actually unlike any I've visited in Manchester. It's not a faceless chain, everything feels carefully curated - right down to all the people who work there, who all have individual style and seem to get on more than just coincidental colleagues. There's no boring small talk about the weather and holidays here either, just genuine and interesting conversation from people who care.

If you're looking for a new salon in Manchester, I'd highly recommend RCNQ and better still, they run a 25% off discount for all first visits!

Have you been to RCNQ before?


Sunday, 18 December 2016

Cryolipolysis (Fat-Freezing) in Manchester at Skinhealth Spa


So, Cryolipolyis - what is that? I didn't know either but when Skinhealth Spa (i.e. my most trusted skincare/cosmetics salon in Manchester!) asked if I'd like to try it out* I thought, why not!

What is Cryolipolysis, Anyway?

Cryolipolysis is a 'fat freezing' treatment which promises to rid you of pesky fat cells in the treated area; permanently. The idea is that your chosen area is frozen, which kills said cells - never to return. It all sounds fairly drastic however the treatment, which is a relatively new technology, is dubbed the 'safe and pain-free alternative to lipo' - you know, that invasive treatment that celebs seem to get as a 'last resort' or ticket to a 'new body' if the Daily Mail is your info text du jour.

So why did I want to try it I hear you cry? 

You may be aware that I'm getting married next year and I admit, the pressure to get in shape is pretty high. I thought I'd lose a few pounds on my own accord and that would be that but I never anticipated the kind of comments you get from those around you - some even strangers! - giving their advice and expectation that you need to lose half your body weight and do everything humanly possible to 'look your best'.

I'm as sensitive as the next person and comments like that do get to you, though I'm determined to do what's right for me and in my own time too.

That said, my arms have always bothered me. I've never been happy with the tops of my arms, even when I've been much slimmer, they'd always stood out as being 'big' to me, so the thought of being able to get them looking a bit leaner for my wedding was appealing - so in I booked!

The Process

The lovely, Dominique was performing the treatment for me and told me that she was something of an expert 'fat freezer'. She totally put me at ease prior to and during the procedure.

Firstly we discussed the area I wanted to freeze and she measured the most 'flabby' parts of each arm to make sure the optimum area would be captured. I found it interesting that one arm had half an inch more fat! Though I suppose that the arm you use most is likely to be more toned.

After defining the area, she explained how the machine worked. We decided it would be best for me to lie on my front, with my arms propped up on my elbows. It's important to get as comfy as possible as the machine stays on for a whole hour for the treatment.

Once comfortable, Dominique proceeded to apply the machine to my left arm first. A gel is applied, along with a thin layer of material which prevents the cold temperature from damaging your skin tissue.

The cup is then placed onto the arm which has a strong suction, which pulls your flesh into the machine, where it's cooled to -8°C. The process is repeated on the other side, then you just need to sit tight for the hour!

Dominique left me to relax but periodically came to check on me and even brought me some magazines and some water - to be honest, it was nice just to lie down and relax for an hour, I wasn't bored at all!

Once the hour was up and the cups taken off, the frozen cells needed to be broken up. For the final stage, the Aesthetician massages the frozen area.


On initial impressions, the whole procedure felt very easy. It's obvious that Skinhealth Spa are total pros at this! I felt at ease the whole time and Dominique was able to tell me a great deal about the treatment, process and results I could expect.

The salon itself has a real boutique feel. It's small but perfectly formed; not clinical, just calming, clean, professional and friendly - which is why I love to go there for treatments. The expertise at Skinhealth, I feel, is unrivalled and it's all done with a smile and a friendly, chatty person at the helm.

The guys at Skinhealth explained that it takes 8 weeks to see the optimum results for the treatment, plus I've booked in for an extra treatment in January to boost my results. I'm therefore going to come back here and post before and after photos and extra updates. Look out for my progress updates which I'll put on Twitter!

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